Following the death of his grandfather Billy Graham, Will Graham hopes to carry on the famed evangelist’s ministry by sharing the Gospel with millions “as if Christ is coming back in our lifetime.”
Will Graham, the oldest son of Franklin Graham who also serves as vice president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, said that while the cultural landscape may not be the same as in his grandfather’s day, the message of the Gospel is always relevant.
“You talk about changing landscapes,” Will said, adding that his grandfather, who passed away on Feb. 21 at the age of 99, “just preached God’s Word. That’s the best way to do it—just open God’s Word and preach to people.”
“When you get up there and preach God’s Word, God’s Word does the rest,” he said, adding that people are “still looking for the same things in life.”
“The Gospel transcends culture, transcends language, transcends politics,” he said.
The younger Graham, who has held evangelistic outreaches on six continents around the world, said that while he’s not trying to be the next Billy Graham, he tries to emulate “the sense of urgency and the sense of boldness” his grandfather conveyed in his messages.
“He didn’t hold anything back,” Will Graham said. “I’ve always been bold, I think, but when you study my granddaddy, he took it to a whole new level.”
“We need to preach as if Christ is coming back in our lifetime,” he said. “It could be any minute. Are you ready?”
When asked about the future of the BGEA in the wake of his grandfather’s death, Will said the organization will hopefully be “on the forefront of leading people to Christ” through crusades, internet evangelism, and the Rapid Response Team.
“We’re just now on the tip of the iceberg of some great things taking place,” he said. “I don’t know what the future holds, but we want to be right in the middle of it, telling people about Jesus Christ.”
Will plays his famous grandfather in the forthcoming film “Unbroken: Path to Redemption,” a documentary that centers around the life of Louis “Louie” Zamperini, who was a Second Lieutenant in the Army Air Forces and was held captive as a prisoner of war in World War II.
“Like my father and grandfather before me, I’m blessed to have been able to answer a call to evangelism,” he said earlier this year, according to CBN. “But knowing how God used Billy Graham in Louie Zamperini’s life, I couldn’t pass the opportunity to portray him in this inspiring story.”
After overcoming torture by the Japanese, Zamperini struggled with post traumatic stress disorder and alcoholism. In 1949, Zamperini crossed paths with a young Billy Graham at a crusade in Los Angeles, California, forever changing his life.
“Billy Graham’s message hit me between the eyes,” Zamperini told the Charlotte Observer back in 2011. “Instead of leaving, I went back to the prayer room. And man, when I made a confession of my faith in Christ, I knew my whole life had changed. … That was the first night in three years that I didn’t have a nightmare. I haven’t had one since.”